Nutrition & Exercise Smoothie The Combination for Inspiration

Are you Tough Enough to Try a Mudd Run?

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Photo taken at 1:00  Register for Rugged Maniac at www.ruggedmaniac.com

By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Are you a Tough Mudder?

The same day that we completed our first Spartan Race, my friend Evelyn asked if I wanted to sign up for a Mudd Run. I hadn’t recovered from the Spartan race yet but I still had that post race high, so of course, I signed up!

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My family had accompanied me to the Spartan Race to cheer me on and when I crossed the finish line, my fifteen year old daughter Ashley, was so pumped herself, she said she wanted to run one of these some day. When Evelyn asked me to do the Mudd Run, I noticed that teenagers were also allowed to participate. I asked Ashley if she wanted to try this with me and she couldn’t say yes fast enough.

I have to say, the Spartan race I trained for. I ran on the treadmill, I used the StairMaster, I ran up stairs, I used the rowing machines, lifted weights, jogged around the block, ran up and down bleachers with a twenty five pound vest on me, and I joined Crossfit for two months, which taught me to do burpees, flip 185lb tires, do box jumps and climb a rope. I was ready and prepared for whatever came my way.

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For the Mudd Run though, since I was running it with my daughter and several other friends, I decided to just enjoy myself. No competition, no obtaining the ‘best’ time, I was so excited to have Ashley run with me, I just wanted us to have fun and share this day with her.

The day of the race, we felt no pressure, just pure excitement.   MudRaceJune2013_0009

We had a noon start time and the July 29th day was sunny and hot. We had no idea what we were up against because the trail started off in the distance, and continued out of sight. We got our bib numbers, grabbed our last sips of water and lined up, pumped and ready to go!

And then…..we were off! It hadn’t rained in a while and the initial start was over dusty, dirt trails and up and over hills that were hard to get a grip on. Climbing up was somewhat difficult but once we reached the top we realized: “how do you get down now!” It was a giant, dehydrated, desiccated slide down mounds of dirt and back up again.   MudRaceJune2013_0014

We ran over a large open field of pure asphalt and the sun beat down hard on us. We climbed up and over many wooden rails too.  1

And then we…..walked. We ended up walking the rest of the way. There were many obstacles and the sun was strong by mid afternoon. There was only one rest stop for water so we decided to enjoy the day together. We walked through tall grasses, climbed many wooden towers,  jumped over walls, hurdles, and over rope mazes. MudRaceJune2013_0022

We saw young and old, sprinters and walkers, men and women, even a man in full army gear tackling the trails.Photo taken at 12:58  Register for Rugged Maniac at www.ruggedmaniac.com

But what about the MUD?

We were wondering about that too.

And then there was mud. Lots of it. After walking for almost a half hour through barren asphalt, out in the open with no shade and several climbs, we were rewarded with pools of muddy water. We had to wade through them on our stomachs, balance across a narrow beam to prevent ourselves from falling in more muddy water and then had to dunk our entire heads underwater to get to the other side of a man made pool with four feet of muddy water.

Then it was all pure MUD. Photo taken at 1:00  Register for Rugged Maniac at www.ruggedmaniac.com      Photo taken at 1:00 Register for Rugged Maniac at www.ruggedmaniac.com Inside tunnels, under strings, and back out to the trails again.

We truly had a blast that day. We laughed and joked and cheered each other on. There was no competition with us, no pressure to finish at a certain time. It was a day of fun with my daughter and my friends and that was all that mattered. Yes there were some tough points, but we helped each other through and had an amazing day. Memories that we will never forget. Something that money cant buy.

After a good hour and a half, we neared the finish line and saw the mighty Mudd Slide before us. THIS WAS OUR REWARD! 1

Photo taken at 1:34  Register for Rugged Maniac at www.ruggedmaniac.com  2      MudRaceJune2013_0047copy3     4

Although not as tough as the Spartan Race, the Mudd Run was equally as fun. The Spartan Race was for me, to show how strong I could be, to show how fast I could compete. I trained and kicked ass! The Mudd Run though, was the most fun anyone could have with their child. We hope to do something like this every year, and when my youngest is old enough, she will join us too. MudRaceJune2013_0051copy

Have you ever completed a Tough Mudder or any other fun race?  Which ones?

Color runs, Zombie runs? And which ones were your favorite? Did you do it for fun or for pure competition?

Spring is here! Look up some races in your area and make a date with some friends and make some memories while you’re at it! And let me know all about it.

I love hearing from you!

Some Races to Try:

The Muddy Buddy

Run Ruckus

Tough Mudder

Warrior Dash

Spartan Race

MudRaceJune2013_0070copy ALL CLEAN!

The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others.
I sincerely appreciate it:

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Finding Happiness is as Easy as Remembering a Childhood Dream

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Several months ago, I wrote a post on finding happiness (you can read it HERE). I asked you what really makes you happy. Not material objects, because they flitter away when the next shiny item comes along. But to find a passion you have or had at one point, some long distant desire that vanished.

One day on the radio, I listened to two DJ’s speak about doing something they always wanted to do, and more importantly, were they currently employed in a career that they had dreamed of when they were little?

At first, both DJ’s laughed and said “No way, I never saw myself doing this.” But then as they continued to talk, one of them suddenly had a recollection. It appeared out of no where. All of a sudden he remembered a photograph his mother took of him when he was six years old.

He used to play album after album on his record player and before the next song started, he would hold up a fake microphone to his mouth and announce each song before it began. He did it all the time. Like a real DJ on the radio. At six! He wondered if his passion buried itself deep within him, but then resurfaced and pushed him toward the career he had now.

It lit a spark in me.

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I loved reading as a child, and looked forward to my father taking me to Barnes & Noble to buy a new book. At 10 years old, I was obsessed with Nancy Drew and collected over twenty books, devouring them in less than four hours, unable to wait for my next one.

In 6th grade I wrote two novels, part of The Linda Wells Mysteries. I wrote them in a spiral notebook complete with hand drawings.  It was then that I decided I wanted to write a real novel one day.

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When I graduated high school though, the thought of majoring in English scared me. What would I do when I graduated? Sit home all day and write books? I was afraid and with no guidance I chose Nutrition as my major and received a Masters in Exercise Physiology. My two other loves.

Although I went on to lead a pretty fulfilling life, there was something missing, no real goal, no end point to reach for.

One boring Saturday evening in September, a year and a half ago, I sat in front of my computer and just decided to write. And write and write. It became an obsession. Something I buried away for years, had finally unleashed. It was my passion. Storytelling. Something I lost sight of as I traveled down my conveyor belt of a life.

It took over as my new obsession, leaving rock climbing and weight lifting in the dust. I found myself spending Friday & Saturday nights writing in my basement, alone. It’s all I wanted to do.

So here I am today, to let you know that I wrote 2 contemporary romance novels, I’m in the process of editing them both now, and plan on publishing them this summer, with the hope that someone will love them as much as I loved writing them.

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I hope you join me on my journey and follow me on my Author Website to learn more about my books, and meet the characters that took on a life of their own, and even get involved with some interesting conversations that surround my book like:

  1. Is it ever okay to cheat on your spouse?
  2. Did you, or anyone you know, stay married for much longer than you should have? Why?
  3. If divorced, what was the final breaking point?

And much more!

What’s your passion? What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but put it on the back burner? Was there a dream you had that you did finally fulfill? What was it? Are you working in a job now that you love?

I love hearing from you!

The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others.
I sincerely appreciate it:

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6 Ridiculous Tricks that Might Actually Help you Lose Weight

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

These tips are only little tricks to get you over the hump. The best weight loss strategy is behavioral changes that, over time make big changes. But with every weight loss strategy, there are times when you need that little push, or a tiny trick to get you through the day.

SIP of MILK 

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I’m starting with my favorite trick. The sip of milk! Don’t laugh but when I decreased my calories significantly, and also hit the gym 5 days a week, I was always hungry. This is the main reason diets fail. HUNGER PAINS! They’re the worst.

Your body doesn’t know it’s trying to lose weight, it thinks it’s starving, (literally) and cranks up that stomach growling. It’s distracting, annoying and frustrating. My cure? Sip of Milk!

I take a shot glass sized slug of milk, a mere 25 calories, and it’s enough to shut up my stomach until you get to your next meal. 25 calories won’t mess up your calorie allowance for the day and you also won’t be starving when you eat our next meal, thereby helping you make a healthy choice.

 

BRUSHING your TEETH 

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For me, this helps tremendously at work, where the nurses lounges are filled with delicious snacks. I brush AND floss after breakfast and lunch and even if I see a brownie with walnuts (my favorite!) I don’t wan’t to ruin my fresh breath and have food stuck in my teeth. This works great after dinner too, to prevent those late night munchies.

 

DON’T MAKE YOURSELF LUNCH 

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No, I don’t mean skip a meal. I mean when you’re home with your kids and preparing their lunches, don’t prepare anything for yourself. I know so many parents that eat their whole lunch, and then finish off their children’s leftovers. The next thing you know you’ve eaten twice as much as you should have. Make their lunch, clean up the kitchen and when they run off to play, finish their leftovers.

 

TINY DINNERS

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Back in the day, my husband loved barbecuing everything. While not entirely bad, many of the foods were fatty meats: spareribs, chicken wings, sausages, etc. Then he’d make a big pot of mashed potatoes, or white rice. I loved that he cooked dinner every night (it meant that I didn’t have to) but I hated to insult his choice of foods, so instead, I ate very little. 2 chicken wings, or 1 spare rib, or just a tiny thin piece of thin sausage. I skipped the starch and just ate a few raw veggies on the side.

I went to bed shortly after dinner so I wasn’t hungry. If I was, I would just brush my teeth. Honestly though, after eating so little every night for dinner, my stomach got used to it and the hunger pangs disappeared. Plus my breakfasts were pretty large, so I just ate my usual breakfast when I woke up.

 

WATER

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No, water is not a magical weight loss potion that will melt fat away like everyone thinks. What it does do, is a couple of things. First, most people don’t realize that they’re really thirsty and not hungry. And second, if you drink enough, it will fill up your stomach.

For example, I eat lunch around 1:30pm every day. Today around noon I started feeling restless, like I wanted to go to lunch early. But then I remembered that I didn’t drink my water on the way to work and one of my 4oz milks I usually drink with breakfast was spoiled, so I only drank a total of 4oz of fluid since dinner the night before! I must have been so dehydrated.

I went to the nourishment kitchen and immediately chugged 4 Cups of water. Within five minutes, I was less cranky and agitated, I wasn’t hungry or thirsty, and my belly actually felt full. Really full. I went back to work and then came down for lunch at 1:30pm without that need to stuff my face with a ton of food. I was refreshed and relaxed.

 

PRE PORTION FOOD – PLAN AHEAD

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This one isn’t ridiculous, but it is a great trick. Planning ahead and packing up the right portion sizes of foods to bring with you to work or for an outing, works like a charm. There’s no chance of over eating something when the portion size is already measured out. And when you bring your food, there’s little chance you’ll dump it and purchase take-out instead.

What’s your favorite tricks? What works best for you? If you give any of these a try, let me know!

I love hearing from you!

The greatest compliment you can give me is when you share this with others.
I sincerely appreciate it:

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The 10 Healthiest Foods you Need to Eat Right Now

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adammmBy Christine Ardigo MSRD

Top Foods to Include in Your Diet

I always say, if you include the healthiest of foods into your diet, there won’t be any room left for the junk. Plan ahead, pack your meals the night before, eat everything you wrapped up, and then end the day knowing you filled your body with everything it needed.

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How to Enjoy your Vacation Without Gaining any Weight

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By Christine Ardigo MS RD

I just returned from a week long cruise with my family and friends, all 42 of us. Gorgeous 85 degree temps, glistening transparent oceans, and of course, tons of food!

Those of you that know me, know I have a serious obsession love desserts! My friend James and I had the pleasure of sharing every dessert created on the ship. One night in particular, I couldn’t decide between 7 different scrumptious ones so I asked James to help me eat them. He thought I was insane, but I ordered each and every one and yes, we devoured all 7 of them. This went on for the remainder of the trip.

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10 Tips to Help your Children Cut Back on their Sugar Intake

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chris spag1By Christine Ardigo MSRD

C is for Cookies, Cake, Candy & Cupcakes!

Think your kids are eating way too many sweets? Are you trying to find ways to decrease it? (Me too). Here are some quick tips to get you started:                                                                                                              Read More

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Nutritious & Delicious Breakfast Choices

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Start your Morning off with a Healthy Breakfast!

Good Morning!  Checking your emails before breakfast? Good, because today you’ll find some great breakfast examples and also see how amazing eggs really are.                                                                           Read More

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12 Inspirational Stories to Get You Off Your Butt

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Running, Biking, Swimming, so Many Races to Try! I’ve written many posts on weightlifting, my true love and passion for many reasons, like here and here and here. But cardio is just as important for our lungs and heart, therefore I dedicate this wonderful post to all of you that get out there and do it and to hopefully inspire those of you that don’t.

I ran three 5k races several years ago and loved the excitement surrounding the races. I completed a Spartan Race in April and a Mudd Run with my daughter in June. But to really inspire you, I am lucky enough to have 12 amazing people in my life that want to share their stories with you. Why they started entering races, what they felt like while training, and of course, what it felt like to complete a race. Without further ado, here are their stories. I hope it motivates you and moves you as much as it did me.                                                       Read More

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How Many Colors Did You Eat Today?? 5-9 Fruits & Veggies a Day

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

How Many am I Supposed to Eat???

It’s recommended that we eat 5-9 fruits and vegetables every day. Every day. If you have 5 small meals a day, and have one at each meal, that’s five right there.  It’s entirely doable!

I counsel clients all the time and they tell me they eat plenty of fiber, but once we run down their usual list, it consists of some low fiber Cheerios, an apple with the skin peeled off and mashed potatoes at dinner. Women need 25 gms of fiber and men need 38 gms of fiber every day. Food labels will tell you how much fiber a product contains per serving. Although fruits and vegetables do not have labels, they are naturally high in fiber and for an added benefit, they provide water and fluid to keep all that fiber flowing smoothly though your intestines.

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Getting Through the Holidays Without Gaining a Pound

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

How Much Will you Gain this Holiday Season?

The holidays are upon us and the gift no one wants to get stuck with is “those extra pounds.” Between the parties, stress, and holiday food, you need a plan to deal with these tempting eating occasions.  Holidays should be a time of memories, thanks and laughter with family and friends, but there is always a huge amount of food available. We need to eat healthier and lighter on non-party days, and increase our exercise as well. Here are some tips to get you started.

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Exercise Plan to Show off your Sexy Abs by Next Summer!

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

How to Create Abs to Die For

As promised in my post about Building Sexy Muscles, I now bring you tried and true ways to flatten that belly and build some cute Ab muscles.

FIRST! I must dispel a myth. Your Abs are like any other muscle, you cannot spot reduce them. That’s like saying if i do 500 Bicep curls on my right arm every day I will lose the fat there. Um, NO. Lifting weights will only result in building beautiful muscles, it does not magically strip the fat away in that area just because you’re exercising it.

THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN LOSE THE FAT IS BY LOSING WEIGHT. Click Here for meal plan and weight loss ideas.

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Why you Should Eat Lots of Candy on Halloween

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Candy Corns, Smarties & Chocolate Bars Woo Hoo!

Those of you that know me, know I LOVE chocolate, it’s my weakness. This doesn’t mean I pig out on it every night. In fact, after years of eating healthy, I beat myself up if I eat two cookies instead of one, or for eating one cookie and then coming home and eating a brownie. I do eat desserts (contrary to what others believe) but I watch the portions to the extent that if I have more than one cookie, (not a whole sleeve), I’m immediately conscious of it and eat less later on or make sure I am back on track the next day or exercise more. THAT is normal. No one eats perfect every day.

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How to Build Sexy Muscles in Less than 30 Minutes a Day

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 Yes, I’m dressed as a pirate. It was my daughters 3rd birthday party!

By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Build Muscles and Burn Calories at the Same Time

No, this is not an Ad for the Thigh-Master or the Shake Weight. But my post last week, How to Drop your Body Fat by 8% in 8 Months, sparked the next question in the series. Exactly what exercises did I do to build all that muscle in only a few months. Did I have to perform 250 lb squats? Did I have to lift weights for 3 hours a day, seven days a week? Today I am going to share with you what I did. It wasn’t hard at all. In fact, everything I do, whether it be exercise or eating, I make simple, because I have to do it every day.

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How to Drop your Body Fat by 8% in 8 Months

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

Drop your Body Fat by 8% in 8 Months? Is that Possible? 

Last month when I posted Women & Weight Lifting – what are we so afraid of? I mentioned that I dropped my body fat by 8 percent. I went from 22% down to 14%. I received a lot of questions as to what I ate during that time. Yes, I worked out hard but what about the food? What you eat is the most important part of the equation. Like I always say, no amount of exercise will undo a bad diet. Nutrition is 80% of the transformation.

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What exactly is Happiness and can we find it?

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By Christine Ardigo MSRD

I am happy to have reached my 46th birthday today. I am healthy, only visit the doctor for my yearly check-up, have no diseases, and do not take any medication. That should be enough to make someone happy right? But it’s not. Why?

Many of us are unhappy. We count our problems and disasters in life instead of our blessings. We put high rank on objects that, in the end, leave us feeling emptier. We look around at other people and what they have and we compete with them. We still suffer from high school syndrome.

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